A three-days-old baby went missing from a hospital in Austin, Texas after the birth mother’s cousin picked the boy up and left. Neither she nor the new-born has been seen since.
On July 19, Brittaney Sadi Smith, 30, checked in under a false name to the local hospital in Austin and gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Elijah Phillips.
Smith used her cousin’s name Brandy Yovonne Galbert to make the false identity declaration at the hospital.
Three days later, Smith consented for little Elijah to leave the hospital with Smith’s niece, the real Brandy Yovonne Galbert, 41, who presented herself as the mother’s sister. Galbert never came back, nor did Elijah, Kxan reported.
Meanwhile, Smith has disappeared as has Carl Dennis Haden, the father.
There was sufficient justification for Child Protective Investigations to release a court order on July 23, to remove the baby from Smith and hand it over to Child Protection Services.
Police are worried about the child’s wellbeing and have issued a search warrant for all three adults and the baby, who have been missing since July 22.
At a presser, APD officer John Hitzelberg, who is working on the child’s custody interference case called for public aid on the case.
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) August 9, 2019
He said the mother had registered at the hospital prior to the birth under her cousin’s name. That laid the groundwork for deceiving the hospital staff into believing it was Smith’s sister who took Elijah with the mother’s blessing.
Police believe them to be in the Austin area or near the Killeen area.
Crimestopper is also on the case, Hitzelberg said. Anyone with potentially valuable information is requested to contact the Austin Police Department at 911, immediately or the North Austin Detectives at 512-974-5484 or call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.
This is not an isolated case of baby-napping. In fact, a child goes missing or gets abducted every 40 seconds in the United States, according to Parents.com.
Child Abductions in the United States
It says, based on the identity of the abductor, there are three types of kidnappings—family kidnapping where the child is abducted by someone from within the family, acquaintance kidnapping, and stranger kidnappings.
Family kidnappings account for 49 percent of the total, acquaintance kidnapping about 27 percent, and stranger kidnapping about 24 percent.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reports that in 2018, it helped law enforcement and families with 25,000 cases of missing children.
Child Abduction Statistics for Parents https://t.co/5faUnQuvvT
— Scott Michael (@scotiebee) May 28, 2019
Out of these, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, and less than 1 percent were non-family abductions.
Reuters quotes the FBI as saying that since 2010, there have been fewer than 350 cases of abductions annually of people below 21 years of age. The number of actual kidnappings is not recorded. A 2002 study by the U.S. Justice Department found that of the children reported missing 99.8 percent were found alive.
“It doesn’t happen very often, but they’re certainly the cases that capture our attention because they strike at our worst fears,” Robert Lowery, a vice president at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children told Reuters.
Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report